The Harris County Sheriff's Office Is (Finally) Hiring Again

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Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia has lifted a hiring freeze that began in October 2009, touting steps he's taken to balance the department's budget.

"The hiring freeze is over," Garcia said. "Our budget controls have put us in a better position for the future. I will make sure we hold the line on crime."

The HCSO said Garcia had taken big steps to control the office's spending, saying when he took office in 2009, "the sheriff inherited spending that was $56 million over the amount budgeted by Commissioners Court. For the budget year that ended February 29 of this year, spending was $2.8 million below the budgeted amount -- a swing of almost $59 million a year."

"The budget was out of control," Garcia said at a press conference. "I brought in executives from the business world and told them it was irresponsible to allow this to happen. I challenged them to fix it and they did."

So now he's looking to hire 100 deputies.

The cost savings cited by Garcia include the use of civilians to staff many jail positions, reassigning the deputies now there to other duties. Sixty will go to the patrol unit and about 40 to crime investigations and protection of courts, the HCSO said.


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robert goerlitz
robert goerlitz

March 15, 2012  Honorable Sheriff Adrian GarciaHarris County Sheriff’s Office1201 CommerceHouston, Texas 77002 RE:      Detention Officers   Dear Sheriff Garcia: Long before you were elected as Harris County Sheriff aspiring deputies were hired as detention officers with the promise and expectation that they would work in that capacity until they could attend the basic academy and earn their peace officer license, then serve as law enforcement officers for the remainder of their career.  Indeed, lateral transfers from other agencies is a relatively new process, and most of the sworn members of the HCSO started as detention officers.  Many of the current detention officers have attended outside academies and have waited for a long time to get their certification and have their efforts honored.  Because of budget constraints, others were hired as part-time employees and are still awaiting full-time status. On March 14, 2012 Major Michael J. Obrien published a letter announcing that “The Harris County Sheriff’s Office will be hiring Detention Officers, Communication Officers, Clerks, various Medical staff and Lateral-transfer Deputies.”  While this is long overdue and welcomed news, we are concerned that the hiring and transfer needs to be done in the right sequence to honor the loyal employees who have waited patiently for this day to come.  Any employee who is still in part-time status should be moved to full-time status before any more new employees are hired.  Detention Officers who have earned their certification should be sworn in before any lateral transfers are hired.  Those deputies who want to transfer to patrol and are on the list should be also transferred before any new lateral transfers are hired.  While many of us in patrol need help as quickly as it can come, it is only fair to take care of the current loyal employees before hiring anyone from the outside.  Thus we are calling on you to do the right thing by those employees who have tenure and are looking forward to fulfilling their career expectations. Respectfully submitted,   Robert Goerlitz, President

Mickodemus
Mickodemus

The hiring freeze ended June 1, 2011.

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